Inside the Brain of a Teenage Soccer Genius

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Friday, April 13, 2012

Coming Up This Weekend: The Cup!

This weekend is a cup weekend! Soccer nuts all over the world will be tuning in to watch the action in England, Scotland and Switzerland while football fans in France, Italy and Germany have already determined the finalists for their cup trophies. The attention will then turn to the second-biggest football stage on earth as representatives from Spain, Germany and England battle it out for a spot in the UEFA Champions League finals in Munich in May.

4/14/12: Liverpool FC vs. Everton: With their league form slipping away and the rather unfortunate situation with their goalkeepers, Liverpool really need the morale boost of beating their hated Merseyside rivals to reach the final. Liverpool are coming off of a last-minute win against Queens Park Rangers on Tuesday while Everton claimed their biggest home win of the season when they defeated Sunderland 4-0 on Monday. Liverpool are having a bit of a crisis after both Pepe Reina, their first choice keeper, and Alexander Doni, their second string keeper saw red in consecutive matches and both face bans. They will likely rely on third string keeper Brad Jones to keep the ball out of the back of the net and pull a reserve keeper to fill Jones' spot on the bench.
4/15/12: Chelsea vs. Tottenham: Chelsea are not likely to reach the top of the English Premier League table before the end of the season and now Barcelona and possibly either Real Madrid or Bayern Munich stand in their way of the Champions League title, so the Londoners will be looking to the FA Cup to top off a successful revival by Roberto Di Matteo. Chelsea are once again winning, but they are not convincing wins and they will need to step it up if they hope to beat Tottenham and progress to the final match. Spurs are suffering from a slight road bump in their domestic form and suffered a humiliating loss to Norwich City, the 2-1 scoreline not at all representing the quality that Tottenham displayed in every aspect on the pitch except for their finishing.
Heiko Vogel's men fight to win the double
4/14/12: FC Winterthur vs. FC Basel: FC Luzern secured their spot in the final with a 1-0 win over FC Sion thanks to an early goal in the seventh minute from midfielder Adrian Winter. FC Winterthur are currently sitting in 5th place in the Challenge League win over FC Wohlen on Wednesday. FC Basel are hoping to clinch the Swiss double for the second time in just two years after they won the league on the last day of the season in 2010 thanks to a 2-0 win over Young Boys. Basel are currently leading the Axpo Super League by seventeen points despite only drawing with FC Luzern at the weekend.
4/14/12: Aberdeen v. Hibernian: Aberdeen are coming off of a 3-1 win against Dundee United at the weekend and are currently in eighth place on the table. Hibernian sits just above the Scottish Premier League relegation zone but are seven points clear so they will be looking for a cup final to capitalize on a season of poor league placement.
Celtic celebrate
their 2012 title
4/15/12: Celtic v. Hearts: Celtic were able to celebrate easily winning the SPL title this season after their fiercest competition and hated Glasgow rivals, Rangers, were forced to enter administration and were docked points. With the title already in their trophy cabinet, Celtic can now focus on winning the Scottish double in this 2012 campaign. Hearts suffered a humiliating defeat to last place team Dunfermline Athletic in their last fixture on April seventh and currently sit in sixth place in the SPL. Celtic are favorites to win, but Hearts could pull off a big upset and march on to the final while the Glasgow side would have to cope with just the league cup in their trophy cabinet.

Semi-final game number one will be held in Munich, Germany as the dominant Germans Bayern Munich take on the current La Liga leaders Real Madrid at the Allianz Arena. Semi-final game number two between Barcelona and Chelsea will be hosted by the London side at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night.
Bayern Munich had a seemingly easy time in their past three UEFA Champions League fixtures after an embarrassing away defeat to FC Basel. Although their Champions League form is fantastic at the moment, their domestic form took a bit of a blow thanks to a defeat from Borussia Dortmund. The Dortmund side are now at the top of Bundesliga by six points with four games to go. Real Madrid were able to live up to the general expectation of easily defeating underdogs APOEL from Nicosia, Cyprus and are sitting at the top of the Spanish table by just a single point while their hated Catalan rivals, Barcelona sit right behind them. The two teams play each other in the title-deciding match on Saturday, April 21st. Chelsea are struggling with scoring goals and keeping them out of the back of their net, an issue you really don't want to have when you're facing off against the defending UCL Champions, especially when Lionel Messi is their front man and Victor Valdes is between the posts. Chelsea will need to focus on not conceding the away goals and then try to push for a goal or two themselves before they travel to Camp Nou. Barcelona are in hot pursuit of yet another La Liga title, however Jose Mourinho and Real Madrid stand in their way.
We are looking at two fantastic fixtures here but of course, in soccer, we could be facing two shutouts, a bunch of yellow cards and ninety minutes of Olympic quality diving. Only time will tell.

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